Thursday, August 30, 2007

Aubade by Philip Larkin

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

While I will undoubtedly eventually post more of Larkin's powerful poetry, go here for more in the interim.

Fly by W. S. Merwin

I have been cruel to a fat pigeon
Because he would not fly
All he wanted was to live like a friendly old man

He had let himself become a wreck filthy and confiding
Wild for his food beating the cat off the garbage
Ignoring his mate perpetually snotty at the beak
Smelling waddling having to be
Carried up the ladder at night content

Fly I said throwing him into the air
But he would drop and run back expecting to be fed
I said it again and again throwing him up
As he got worse
He let himself be picked up every time
Until I found him in the dovecote dead
Of the needless efforts

So this is what I am
Pondering his eyes that could not
Conceive that I was a creature to run from

I who have always believed too much in words

Words of wisdom.

A. A. Milne, in Winnie-the-Pooh wrote:


"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"I've got $12,000 in checking."

Who knew?

Humor at the expense of our precious, precious oceans.

Ultimate foam party.

Tonight, we dine at Sparro!

This is jenga!

Showtime.

When I was in high school, Saturday nights meant a trip to the Northtown Opry. I've never really been a fan of country music, but when you're a teenager, and the fiddle player was kind of cute, and the occasional lead singer looked a little like young Elvis, well, you make sacrifices. My friends and I would hang out at the musician's entrance and pretend we were part of the show. It really was great fun.

After I graduated, going to the Opry wasn't on my list of fun things to do anymore. Eventually, the Opry closed and the building fell into disrepair. At this moment, it stands as a vacant and dilapidated storefront, merely a shadow of its former greatness.

All that is about to change, however. Butch Rigby, owner of the successful and way-cool sort-of-chain of Screenland Theaters is planning on purchasing the building, according to a recent article in the KC Star.

This is terrific news for North Kansas City. The area is ripe for a venue such as this, as it will accommodate nicely the crowd attracted by Northgate Village.
Rigby said the theater would be called the Screenland Armour and could open sometime next year.

“My goal is to get it open by May 2008 so that we can show the new Indiana Jones movie,” Rigby said.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Rigby does with the place. It's good to see development like this occurring in my neck of the woods.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Settled.

After much searching, I've finally settled on a theme and layout for this blog. I've learned more about WordPress and widgets and plugins in the last week than I expected to, and I'm quite happy with the results.

Many thanks to the WordPress Theme Viewer for their awesome selection and features that made my quest for the perfect theme easy and enjoyable.

In a slightly related vein, my mom has a new Web site for her business, C. Louise Skin Care. Please visit it and make sure to book an appointment with her for all of your skin care needs. Mention her site and get 15% off of one service, treatment or product. With the holidays fast approaching, what better way to get a jump on your shopping than with gift certificates for massages, facials, manicures and pedicures? I hate to turn this post into an ad, but seriously - my mom is great and she's great at what she does. I love her, and you will, too!

The quick beown fox jumped over hte laxuy dog.

I had no idea I could type so fast.

Ain't that the truth.

Who needs lunch? I do!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chchchchchanges…

You may have noticed that the ol' blog looks different today. It was due for a spruce-up, so I've been experimenting with some changes. No telling how long I will keep it like this, or if I'll change it to something else.

What do you think?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Here, kitty kitty kitty…

This is Christian.



In the mid-1960s, Christian was living large in London, rolling in a Bentley, going to restaurants, even doing a little modeling. Then, he got bigger. And bigger. Eventually he was rehabilitated back into a pride of lions in Africa.

Christian's story is a fascinating one, so please take a minute to read it here.

Done? Good. You'll then more fully appreciate these two videos.

This one was taken before he was released into the African wild.

This one, which is one of the coolest things I've ever seen, was taken a year after he had been released into Africa. In case you didn't read Christian's story (and if you didn't, go back and read it), here's an excerpt that ties in nicely with this amazing video:
Finally, in 1974, George Adamson wrote to say that the pride was self-sufficient. Christian was defending it. There was a litter of cubs. They were feeding themselves and rarely returned to camp.

The King's Road lion had finally adapted to the wild.

This was a bittersweet moment for all concerned. Rendall and Ace decided to travel to Kora one last time, in the hope of being able to say goodbye, though Adamson warned them that it would almost certainly be a wasted mission.

"Christian hasn't been here for nine months. We have no reason to think he's dead - there have been no reports of lions poached or killed. But he may never come back," he said.

Rendall recalls, "We said: 'OK. We appreciate that, but we'll come anyway and see you.'"

They flew to Nairobi then took a small plane to the camp in Kora, where Adamson came out to meet them.

"Christian arrived last night, " he said simply. "He's here with his lionesses and his cubs. He's outside the camp on his favourite rock. He's waiting for you."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Oh, hell yes.

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Coming this Christmas to a theater near you... Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim.

It gets better: It's being directed by Tim Burton, and stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen. I get chills just typing that.

And, in case you aren't thrilled enough by the description, here's one of the first photos from the set:



Yeowzers. Revenge never looked so good.

Friday, August 3, 2007

What does this say about me?

I can't believe I am so excited about this: The So You Think You Can Dance tour will make a stop at the new Sprint Center on October 27th. I'm freaking excited.

But I’ve got a brilliant personality…!

Yesterday, we took an online Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test, and I'm surprised at how eerily accurate it was.

I tested out as an ESFP. This type is also called the Performer. I've been reading a great deal about what this means, and have discovered that I'm pretty much right in the mold of the typical ESFP. That means I'm an "all the world's a stage, so let me entertain you" kind of gal. I appreciate small beauties and get excited over seemingly insignificant events. I'm also a sort of Pollyanna, if you will, because I see the glass as half full, and tend to whistle while walking past the graveyard. I also talk alot and go off on tangents, eventually coming back around to the topic at hand. A conversation with me is indeed much like a spider-web, and and sometimes I confuse people because I start telling a story in the middle, assuming others are following my winding trail of thought. With regards to difficult situations, I'm of the opinion that you have to work with what you've got, and that no amount of complaining is going to change anything.

One ESFP description in particular was chock full of spot-on aspects of who I am. For example:

  • ESFPs want to know their teachers well and know that they care

  • They find themselves drifting off easily while studying theoretical matters

  • Being a resource o others is an important part of their work, and tend to choose occupations that allow them to be responsive to others

  • They like to read and discuss their reading with others

  • They are warm and generous in the face of approval, but can be hampered by disapproval

  • Inclined to be impulsive


The husband's test shows him to be an INTJ. Again, this is exactly who he is. What we both found fascinating was this:
When young, the INTJ is attracted to the free-wheeling, spontaneous, fun-loving ESFP. This type of mating, however, is so infrequent as to be a mere academic interest (the INTJ is a mere 1 percent of the population and, futhermore, rarely come in contact with ESFP.

So if we hadn't met when we were young, we would probably never have found each other, as he would have gone for more practical fare.

Personally, I like knowing my type indicator - it's validating to know that my persistent optimism is a personality trait and not a sign of my eventual decent into insanity. Knowing my husband's type is useful, too, because it allows us to better communicate with each other - if I remember that he needs concreteness, and he remembers that I need affirmation, we'll be better off overall.

I also like reading about the personality types of my friends and co-workers, as they, too, allow me to better tailor my communication and relationship to their particular style. If I know that one co-worker is an ENFJ, then I also know that, while I may feel manipulated by him, he isn't manipulating me on purpose - he "believes in his dreams and sees himself as a helper and enabler."

See how useful this can be?